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Billy Torrence wins Top Fuel at New England Nationals; collects seventh Wally

After qualifying in the No. 1 spot in an impossible-to-touch Friday-night blast, Torrence wins in his first competitive event at the TascaParts.com NHRA New England Nationals presented by Bandero Premium Tequila.
13 Jun 2021
David Kennedy
Race coverage
Billy Torrence wins Top Fuel at the TascaParts.com New England Nationals; collects seventh Wally

The Torrence family came into Epping as the Top Fuel team to beat. With momentum, past success, and the Lagana Brothers who literally grew up running at New England Dragway. Billy Torrence was the Capco Contractor to master the power-to-traction opportunity and stormed through the Friday-night session like a Nor'easter. After three rounds nobody could touch his e.t..

The atmospheric conditions Friday night meant every single combustion stroke offered maximum performance, and every car on the property had the power to blow the tires off. Track records looked to be an endangered species and the crowds were poised to see a Top Fuel dragster run faster than 331.69 mph. By the end of the first session, however, it was clear the power was there but putting it all to the ground proved elusive.

 

The cleanest run in Top Fuel was made by Billy Torrence, his  3.744 seconds at 324.98 mph pass put him in the number one position.  That power almost came back to bite Torrence in round one against Joe Morrison's Leverich Racing Top Fuel car. Torrence’s dragster overpowered the tires multiple times, and if Morrison's car was running on all eight cylinders, he might have capitalized on Torrence's lack of traction.

Round two was no freebie for Torrence either. He paired up against the Torrence family's good friend, Antron Brown. Mama Kay will say that Antron is one of her boys, but for this race, she was standing behind her husband's lane. In round one Torrence hazed the tires and Brown did not. With one-thousandth of a second difference off the line, advantage Torrence, that holeshot carried through to the finish line and sent Torrence to the final.

That final run would come against another Top Fuel father, Mike Salinas. The fans in Epping witnessed the Jason McCulloch-tuned Capco dragster stage and launch against the Alan Johnson and Brian Husen-tuned Scrappers dragster. The Scrappers car was quicker and faster—but Torrence's nano-second holeshot turned on the win light in New Hampshire.